Fashion Q&A: Ashworth's Harry Arnett
Monday, January 31, 2011
The iconic Ashworth brand that produced all those warm and fuzzy memories of dad playing golf on a Sunday morning has come back with a bang! Ashworth has added a contemporary twist to that feeling of nostaliga. So to close out this year’s PGA Merchandise Show with a bang, I caught up with Harry Arnett, VP of brand and product marketing for TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, to find out about Ashworth’s new look.
Tell me about Ashworth’s fashion facelift.
Ashworth celebrates the life of the golfer. We’ve built a range of apparel and now footwear that’s designed to go wherever the true golfer goes, from the golf course to everywhere else. And the style is fresh, contemporary, and modern to live on the course and away from the course.
You have two great faces behind your brand: Freddie Couples and Sean O’Hair. How has this helped?
We think we have two of the coolest guys on Tour. One of the aspects of Ashworth that we think really makes it special is its timelessness. With Freddie, who looks as good now as he did his rookie year, and Sean O’Hair, who has a youthful maturity, we think the brand resonates with everyone, regardless of how old they are.
Did Sean and Freddie play key roles in the design process (trying and testing the products, etc.)?
We always get in product ideas and style in front of Fred and Sean before we make anything. Their input is critical, since not only are they the type of people we want wearing our product, but they’re also the type of people who are buying our product.
I love this new edge that I am seeing, but do you think this is going to steer your older audience away this time around?
On the contrary, older guys don’t want to be reminded that they’re getting older. They want to feel younger. We don’t think we’re edgy at all. We think we’re contemporary.
Now let’s talk shoes. Boy, are they cool! Why did you decide to bring footwear into the equation?
We brought footwear in because we felt strongly that guys who wanted to live the Ashworth lifestyle want to do it head-to-toe. And there’s nothing out there right now like our footwear.
What other lifestyle pieces can be carried from course to clubhouse that we haven’t talked about?
This fall, we feel that the cardigan is a great piece to add to your street-to-green wear.
With the unveiling at this year's PGA Merchandise show, tell us a little bit about how it has been received?
Phenomenally well. We are very excited. The footwear line is new to the golf fashion market and people are excited about its variety and contemporary styling. As you mentioned, Ashworth has had a facelift this year and it has been extremely well-received at the show.
Name one Ashworth item that every man must add to his wardrobe this season.
Fashion bottoms are very cool for this season, plaid shorts and pants are great to pair with a causal polo or a sophisticated sweater. They add a cool style to on- and off-course looks. And I have to mention the footwear – it’s the fashion survival for men this year.